Lawrence sees Lincoln, receives offer

There was a lot of confusion surrounding Nebraska's commitment to Blake Lawrence. The linebacker from Shawnee Mission (Kans.) Shawnee Mission West was told that if he wanted to be a Cornhusker then he could be, but did that mean that he had an offer? It was enough for Lawrence to get up to Nebraska and get the official word himself.

Blake Lawrence was on a quest, not just an unofficial visit, when he was in Lincoln yesterday. The 6-foot-3 and 205 pound linebacker had an agenda and it seems that he got his answer.

"I wanted to get some questions answered and get up there and talk to Coach Bill Callahan and Coach Kevin Cosgrove about my situation," Lawrence said. "I wanted to know if they wanted me up there and if they planned on offering me."

That offer is more than just the chance to go to school there, it's a commitment to Lawrence in his eyes by Nebraska. A commitment that was made clear when receiving that offer.

"That's their commitment to me (the offer). At that point I can really sit there and look at them as a serious place for me to go. After getting that offer I am doing that."

One could assume that going through that effort obtain the Nebraska offer that Nebraska is up there on Lawrence's list. Is the assumption true?

"It is an indication to how much I have been thinking about them, absolutely. There were times that I could just go with what I had right then and now, but I wanted to push to see if this would be a serious option for me at Nebraska."

"They made a big impression on me the first time that I was up there for the spring game. That has really stuck with me and it was an offer that I really wanted to work for and wanted to get. To have the option to go to a great place."

There wasn't a real need to take a look around the campus or the town much more on this second trip. There was a need to talk to the coaches, a chance that he didn't get at the spring game, and that happened on Friday.

"I wanted to get the chance to get to know the coaches a little bit better. I know that they are great guys and at the spring game I didn't get a good chance to talk to the coaches. Coach Cosgrove and I got a chance to touch base and talk a lot."

"Coach Callahan and I really got a chance to catch up and we spoke more than we had before and it was great. It felt really natural talking with him. It was fun to get to know him on a more personal level. Everyone knows him, but getting that chance to really talk to him and sitting down in his office was great. We didn't talk just about football. We got into personal life and traded some stories with eachother."

Lawrence recalled why he wanted the offer so badly and it really went back to his first experience at Nebraska. "The spring game atmosphere really sold me. The whole tour that I took this time I saw one thing that was new and that was Husker Vision. I got to see what they do behind the scenes. The main thing was getting to see and talk to the coaches. I really had to talk to them about a scholarship."

While it wasn't a real big factor to take another look around the new facilities and seeing the progress from April. "Seeing the new facilities that they are building and seeing the construction that they have been doing since the spring game. I got to see them a bit the first time I was there and they are about four weeks out from moving in now. That definitely impressed me."

The summer will actually start to slow down a bit for Lawrence next week. Before that though, he will take a trip that has been planned for a long time. A trip that could lead to him getting another offer.

"Actually I am leaving tomorrow to go to Wisconsin. I have had this trip planned to go up to Wisconsin for camp with Coach Dorn. They seem to have pretty good interest in me and perhaps an offer will come and, if not, I think that I am fine with that. After that I am pretty much just staying in town and going on vacation to San Francisco."

So what is Lawrence thinking about the rest of the process? He has taken some unofficial visits and has made it to some camps to see some schools. So, could a decision be coming later this summer or does he have a timeline for his decision?

"It could be, but after talking to Brian Smith yesterday and going through my own situation, I am thinking about taking some visits still. That is where it is right now. Talking a couple visits, maybe three, and then go from there. Then again, we could hear something that could make me choose a school right now."

The visits that Lawrence might take this fall will more than likely include a trip to Nebraska despite seeing the school two times before. The reason is that there are different circumstances and situations that take place on official and unofficial visits that Lawrence wants to experience.

"I have been up there twice, but I want to go up there to see the real game-time environment. The reason why I would take official visits isn't to see the school, but to see the gameday environment and meet some of the players. That is the big thing to hang out with the players."

The question that some might have is what position would Lawrence play at Nebraska and would he feel comfortable with the role. Not only would Lawrence be comfortable with what would be asked of him, but he has been playing the position for two years and could make a smooth transition.

"They're taking four this year because they didn't get one last year. Yesterday we broke down film and Coach Cosgrove said that he envisioned me at the SAM position where Stewart Bradley and Lance Brandenburgh play. They do a lot of blitzing, but they do spend their time on the tight end. That's something that I have been doing at my high school the past two years. That seems like a good fit."

Brian Smith made the trip to Lincoln with Lawrence. The two have really become friends through the process and Lawrence admitted that it would be great to play together in college, but there is no package deal because their own situations are so unique.

"We talked about it a long time ago when we each had two or three offers and it kind of changes a little bit as it goes. We've definitely talked about it and the thought is actually pretty entertaining because we played together a long time ago and developed a friendship this year. We've thought about playing together and if it works out that way then that's great."

Lawrence knew that Smith and his family came away from the long day in Lincoln impressed. That actually says a lot considering Smith's father and his ties to Notre Dame.

"Brian went up there with his family yesterday too and they were definitely impressed. The day ran pretty long, we were up there for almost six hours. Sometimes your attention span gets lost when you haven't eaten for a while. Brian seemed to really enjoy it."

"His dad was a Notre Dame guy and he had never been to Lincoln either, but said that he had heard great things. He was impressed with what they are going to put in and what they have now. He was surprised by the academic side of Nebraska. That was something that they were not aware of and they never thought of Nebraska as an academic school."

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